So, Sensei says that I should be looking at May / June 2012 for my Shodan test. Thats about sixteen months to prepare, and I am really looking forward to the journey. I've come quite a ways in the past twelve months, and I'm amazed at what I was able to accomplish.
- Eight Kilos dropped
- 2+ Inches gone from my waist
- More muscle mass added
- (Much) More flexibility
- Re-learned (and fine tuned) five Kata
- Re-learned eleven Kihon
- Learned 2 new Kihon that didn't exist the first time (There's a Kihon-dosa-yon??)
- Learned the finer points of Bassai
- Learned Tehodoki-no-waza
- Learned Ju-ni-ko
- Removed flaws from my punching technique
- Identified issues with my ukemi (aka, still working on that active foot)
- Removed inconsistencies in my stances
- Grasped the concept of Shime, Shibori and Hari (I do not remember this being mentioned the first time at all)
- Learned, and now regularly apply, several terms and concepts (Ichi Gan people!)
- Began diving into the history of Chito-ryu and Okinawan Martial Arts
- Began learning Kata from other styles
- Started instructing junior students.
All of that in exactly one year. On February 1st, 2010, I walked into the Hampton Dojo of KV Karate in a white T-Shirt and track pants, wondering if I was going to survive the first work-out. On February 1st, 2011, I walked out of the Apohaqui Dojo of KV Karate with a Brown Belt. Twelve months down, out of countless more as I continue my journey.
"Karate-Do is a lifetime study."
Mabuni Kenwa Sensei - Founder of Shito-ryu